When I was a kid, my mother’s friend once sent over a delicious moussaka for us to sample. I had never tasted it before and ate it happily before finding out that it contained eggplant, which I was sure I hated. Lo and behold, I suddenly discovered that I didn’t! This combination of ground meat and eggplant, along with the roasted red peppers and tomato dip, all complement each other really well; really tasty and easy party fare!
YIELDS 36–40 MINI SKEWERS
• 1 1-lb (450-g) pkg frozen breaded eggplant sticks
• 3 large red peppers, cut into 1½-inch (4-cm) squares
• 1 Tbsp oil
• 2 lbs (1 kg) chopped meat
• 2 extra-large eggs
• 3 Tbsp bread crumbs
• 2 Tbsp ketchup
• ½ tsp garlic powder
CRUSHED TOMATO DIP
• 2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
• 2 cubes frozen basil
• 1 cube frozen garlic
• 2 tsp brown sugar
• generous dash hot paprika
• salt, to taste
Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C).
In a large mixing bowl, combine meatball ingredients. Form into approximately 1½-inch (4-cm) balls and place on a large baking sheet. On a separate baking sheet, place eggplant sticks and red peppers. Add oil and toss to coat. Place both pans in the oven and bake for 13 minutes.
Remove the pans from the oven. Turn over the meatballs and eggplant sticks, gently mix the peppers, and return the baking sheets to the oven for an additional 5–6 minutes. Remove pans from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Slice eggplant sticks in half and skewer ingredients as follows: two eggplant squares, a piece of red pepper, and a meatball.
For the dip: Combine all dip ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir until ingredients are evenly distributed. Serve alongside sticks.
Note: You can prepare this recipe without skewers: combine sauce with meatballs and roasted peppers and serve alongside the eggplant sticks.
(Originally featured in Family Table, Issue 718)
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